Living Life in the Overlaps

A Venn diagram to explain what I do at work.

I live in the overlap of:

INFORMATION.This is the reception, observation, sensing, or sharing of feedback or other information inputs. It relies on awareness, alerts, & being open to receive data — but also the ability to push this information forward. (Real-Time Crime Centers, anyone?)

INTELLIGENCE. Intelligence is both a process & a by-product of a process. Through aggregation, it uncovers patterns & trends, as well as predictions & anticipations. By sharing these insights, groups & teams gain a shared & underlying awareness, sense-making, orientation, biases, or mental models.

INVESTIGATIONS. Investigations is the process of solving mysteries. It uses clues to develop multiple, conflicting theories. And uses critical thinking to find evidence, facts, observations, & data to disprove hypotheses.

INTERDICTION. Interdiction is the action in the field or arena. It’s driven by intentions, purpose, desires, or interventions. It can be both reactive & proactive. It’s often driven by strategy, method, or procedure — & often changes the landscape.


(I actually hadn’t used the letter “i” on purpose. It just sorta happened.)

This depiction shows the overlaps of four (4) somewhat distinct yet inextricably related areas where I continually find myself. It’s the generalist in me that appreciates these connections & links.

I need a few more beers to expand upon the 2-3x layer overlap (as opposed to the 4x layer overlap) — to describe what those shortcomings or specializations looks like in real life when we lack one (1) or more of the layers.

I’ve also realized that, through a quick reordering, I’ve described Boyd’s OODA. That wasn’t intentional, but rather serendipitous.

I’m not confident this depiction, separation, & categorization will outlast any comments or replies here. I surely hope it doesn’t survive the next few months. But for now, it makes sense to me.


Lou Hayes, Jr. is a detective supervisor in a suburban Chicago police department. He's focused on multi-jurisdictional crime patterns & intelligence, through organic working groups compromised of investigators & analysts from a variety of agencies. With a passion for training, he studies human performance, decision-making, creativity, emotional intelligence, & adaptability. In 2021, he went back to college (remotely!), in hopes to finally finish his undergrad degree from the University of Illinois - Gies College of Business. Follow Lou on LinkedIn, & also the LinkedIn page for The Illinois Model


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